Microsoft Launches Preview of DocumentDB and Azure Search Service

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Scott Guthrie, Microsoft’s EVP of the Microsoft Cloud and Enterprise group, last month announced a series of new updates and improvements to Microsoft Azure via his blog. Chief among these is the launch in preview of DocumentDB – a NoSQL document database service that Guthrie bills as a “flexible and powerful data service for your applications.” Guthrie notes developers can use DocumentDB with any JSON document mainly because it’s “schema-less.” DocumentDB also “scales linearly with consistent performance,” making it appropriate for apps likely to grow.

In this same post, Guthrie cited the unveiling (in preview) of the Azure Search Service, giving developers a way to build in more robust search capacity for web and mobile apps. Guthrie says Microsoft is offering a two-tiered Search service – Standard and Free. The Standard tier allows you to scale up and down easily and offers “dedicated capacity” for your search service while the Free tier (which Guthrie recommends all Azure users deploy) extends search up to 10,000 documents and three indexes.

While on the topic of tiers, Eron Kelly, Microsoft GM Product Marketing for SQL Server Product Management, revealed in his blog that Microsoft is setting new tier levels for Azure SQL Database. Kelly said Microsoft is lowering its service tier prices while unveiling a new performance level and hourly billing. Kelly also said Microsoft is “providing an enhanced service-level agreement (SLA) of 99.99% availability.” Kelly notes that price reductions, set to begin in early November, could be up to 50% lower compared to previously announced rates.

Microsoft also announced a new release of WebJobs SDK, providing a set of new features from its last release in June. Microsoft’s Pranav Rostogi, Program Manager, Azure WebJobs, ASP.NET, says this version of WebJobs, which gives developers a simpler method to run programs in a Web Site, “will allow for a minimum amount of code to get common tasks done.”

Gigaom’s Barb Darrow declared in an article posted last month that competition among the leading cloud providers – including Microsoft and AWS – is “now a horserace.” Darrow cites one analyst with Nomura Securities who suggests Microsoft Azure should outpace AWS in cloud services revenue by the end of this year. In addition, combining IaaS, PaaS and SaaS as a set of services offered by all the leading cloud providers, Synergy Research Group, according to Darrow, shows Microsoft Azure netting 164% growth in Q214 quarter over quarter compared with 64% for AWS in the same period.

On a final note, Microsoft recently issued this handy poster showing the complete Azure ecosystem:

Microsoft Cloud Ecosystem Poster







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